Introduction to the Devout Life

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9780856500855: Introduction to the Devout Life
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Would that this book, in the judgement of his contemportries the most perfect of its kind, as at one time it was in the hands of all, was now read by all. . . ." Such was the commendation of this spiritual classic by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical on the third centenary of the death of St. Francis de Sales. One reason why it is not read as it should be is that the translations so far available have been for the most part in 17th-century English, or else in the artificially archaic style that, for some reason or other, more modern translators have thought fit to adopt. Hence the need for a new version in contemporary idiom. Realizing that a too literal translation would do no service to the original, the present translator has set out to express, not words and phrases, but the very thought of St. Francis, and that in a language which will enable a modern reader to gain a true appreciation of what has been rightly called a "treasure of devotion".

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Francis de Sales took seriously the words of Christ, Learn of me for I am meek and humble of heart. As he said himself, it took him 20 years to conquer his quick temper, but no one ever suspected he had such a problem, so overflowing with good nature and kindness was his usual manner of acting. His perennial meekness and sunny disposition won for him the title of Gentleman Saint.

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